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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:08 am 
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I was doing an observership at a GP's office when she was doing an annual checkup on a teenager. She found some scoliosis and had to give him and his dad some advice on the matter... I remember people saying something similar about me in my past, so I asked her to look real quick.. she asked me to bend over to arch my spine and show it clearly, and she said I for sure have some scoliosis in my thoracic spine. She said I shouldn't be doing any weight lifting that puts direct pressure on my spine, ever.. understandably I am now concerned, cause it appears I'm fv(k out of any decent training program, due to the importance of squats and deadlifts for overall mass building.. no, I haven't had any major pain or anything in the past.

I did a lot of googling and honestly cannot find a straight answer. All the bodybuilding forums will say that lifting is, if anything, good for you, and will "strengthen your back". Lamar Gant (pro bodybuilder with some huge squat number despite a disgustingly crooked spine) is always brought up.
Health websites say the opposite, that its bad for you, and I am positive that whatever doctor I go to will take the "safe route" as well. (they probably have no idea either, but I can't find any studies on the matter myself).

So, opinions? Of course I'm hoping the body builders are right, but I know that logically, putting vertical pressure on a curved spine can only make the curve worse. I also have the whole lordosis/kyphosis bit so I'm always paranoid I'm deepening my lordotic curve irreversibly every time I do a squat :(


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:53 am 
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In my opinion, everybody should be be strength training in a progressive manner to the extent that they are able. To suggest that someone shouldn't be weight training is irresponsible.

That doesn't mean you might have to modify the lifts somewhat. Strengthening the muscles around the spine will increase the stability of the spine. Just make sure you don't progress too quickly on any lift so that your body has an opportunity to adapt to the stresses before you increase them more. If any movement causes pain, stop doing that movement until you know what's happening and you can correct it.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:48 pm 
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of course, I feel sore the next 2 days after a squat session, mainly in my quads and lower back.. I'm just concerned that, even if I don't get any warning signals of pain in my spine, I'll be "bending" the scoliotic curve more and more..


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:42 pm 
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You could do step ups or single leg squats. That should lesson the compressive forces on your spine and even help stabilize your core depending on how you load the exercise.

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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:42 pm 
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Scoliosis runs in my family. My doctor noticed it in me when I bent over to touch my toes so it's not serious in me. He has no concerns that I lift weights and he knows I do the squats. Also, in the past year I went through physiotherapy to recover from tendonitis of the shoulder My physiotherapist noticed I have scoliosis as well but only cautioned me on the weights with respect to my shoulder injury.

The only thing I notice after the shoulder injury is that now my shoulders aren't resting evenly under the bar when I prepare for the squat. One shoulder is behind the bar like normal but the other is positioned slightly forward under the bar. All my other shoulder movements are almost full range.

Still I have never felt any pain in my spinal column. So I think you are ok as long as you are not overloading yourself. As the others stated, progressive training will stabilize your back muscles that support your spine.

(There was a news story way back in the 1970s showing new developments for the treatment of scoliosis. While the patient is sleeping, an electric current is run through the back muscles so strengthen it and correct the spine.)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:51 am 
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I think you should lift. That's just my opinion.

How old are you now? If you are beyond the age when your bond growth ends, your scoliosis won't change much from this point on. If you aren't having symptoms, you probably won't. I don't see the down side of lifting, and lifting heavy. The doctors who say not to lift don't have any basis for that. Of course, I don't have any basis for what I say other than my opinion, either, but I think my opinion makes more sense. I'm right, they're wrong. Lift.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:58 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
... I'm right, they're wrong. Lift.


:withstupid:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:01 am 
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stuward wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:
... I'm right, they're wrong. Lift.


:withstupid:

Aw, shucks. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:30 pm 
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interesting
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20811080
Quote:
Paraspinal muscle activity during symmetrical and asymmetrical weight training in idiopathic scoliosis.
Schmid AB, Dyer L, Böni T, Held U, Brunner F.
Source
Department of Physiotherapy, Balgrist University Hospital, Horton Center for Patient-Oriented Research, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Abstract
CONTEXT:
Various studies report decreased muscle activation in the concavity of the curve in patients with scoliosis. Such decreased muscle-performance capacity could lead to sustained postural deficits.
OBJECTIVE:
To investigate whether specific asymmetrical sports therapy exercises rather than symmetrical back strengthening can increase EMG amplitudes of paraspinal muscles in the concavity of the curve.
DESIGN:
Cross-sectional.
SETTING:
Laboratory.
PARTICIPANTS:
16 patients with idiopathic scoliosis.
INTERVENTIONS:
Patients performed 4 back-strengthening exercises (front press, lat pull-down, roman chair, bent-over barbell row) during 1 test session. Each exercise was performed in a symmetrical and asymmetrical variant and repeated 3 times.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:
EMG amplitudes of the paraspinal muscles were recorded in the thoracic and lumbar apexes of the scoliotic curve during each exercise. Ratios of convex- to concave-side EMG activity were calculated.
RESULTS:
Statistical analysis revealed that the asymmetrical variants of front press at the lumbar level (P=.002) and roman chair and bent-over barbell row at the thoracic level (P<.0001, .001 respectively) were superior in increasing EMG amplitudes in the concavity of the scoliotic curve.
CONCLUSIONS:
Specific asymmetrical exercises increase EMG amplitudes of paraspinal muscles in the concavity. If confirmed in longitudinal studies measuring improvements of postural deficits, these exercises may advance care of patients with scoliosis.


so, if I have thoracic level scoliosis, which exercises should I add to do assymetrically to perhaps "pull"on the convex portion of the curve? (I imagine it to be like straightening a wooden bow that's fixed on both ends, by grasping the middle of it and pulling it forcefully against its cuve.. if ---- is my arm that's doing the pulling: ---) and then ----|
rhomboids? traps?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:41 pm 
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What you want to do is train lateral flexion. The main driving muscles are your obliques. The article you provide mentioned roman chair as being a good exercise. It looks like this:

Image

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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:50 pm 
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But my scoliosis is higher, more between my shoulder blades... So should I do the chairs on the same side that the curve is or opposite?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:55 pm 
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maybe farmer walks would be a good idea?

Just throwing that out there, I have no expertise in the matter.

Will be interested to hear how you get on though, I have a slight scoliosis myself. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:58 pm 
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Adjust it so the pad is high, so the movement is in your upper back. Then try it both ways and see what happens. Which ever way has the smallest range of motion, work it harder.

WRT the farmers walks, try them with one side only.

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Stu Ward
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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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